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Ellington bassist John Lamb

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Steve Bassman, Jul 9, 2005.


  1. Steve Bassman

    Steve Bassman Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    So on my trio gig tonight the leader calls "Isfahan" which is an Ellington tune from the "Far East Suite" album. The thing is that John Lamb, the bassist on the original recording had come out to hear us and was sitting about ten feet away as I sight read the tune having never played it before! It was sort of like playing "So What" with Paul Chambers in the audience! No pressure at all! I mentioned this during the break and John just said "Yes, I was listening to you". I really wish I had studied the original recording first and then I could have quoted his bass line which he would have dug. Anyway, John sat in for the last set and was very gracious, as always. He laughed when I played Jimmie Blanton's "Jack the Bear" lick during one of my solos and even showed me the right way to play Blanton's "Pitter Panther Patter" which he played when he was with Duke. John still gigs regularly around the Tampa Bay area and it's always a treat hearing him play and talk about all the great musicians he met and performed with during his tenure with Ellington. Just wanted to share the story.

    - Steve

    http://kaybass.home.att.net
     
  2. Very cool Steve.
    I wouldn't lose any sleep about not having studied the 'Isfahan' bass part. It sounds like you and John handled the situation like the pros you both are.
    Kudos....
     
  3. "Tourist Point of View" -- unforgettable.
     
  4. Steve Bassman

    Steve Bassman Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Funny you should mention that song. John Lamb came out to hear us again last Friday. I asked him if his bass part for that song was dictated by Ellington and he told me that Duke never told him what to play. Th CD reissue has an alternate take of this song and you can hear that John plays a completely different bass line. Anyway, we played some Ellington tunes for him (inlcuding "Isfahan" again - great tune) and he sat in and played "Sweet Sue" which along with "Moten Swing" is one of his favorites. He's actually going to sub for me the next two Fridays.

    And thanks for the kudos, Paul :) .

    - Steve

    http://kaybass.home.att.net